I strived for many years to attain transcendental consciousness through meditation but in vain. However, ever since I started riding horses, transcendental consciousness came to me naturally. And then I wondered how I lived all these years without these beautiful beasts in my life!

Every time I rode a horse ‘feel good hormones’ obediently kicked in, as if their lives depended on it. After every ride I went through feelings that ranged from “I want to do something heroic” to “God is in his heaven and all’s right with the world”. Magical happiness takes over my entire existence. In my opinion, the scent of a horse is better than the best perfume. Sometimes it provides oxygen to a needy soul.

hourse-place

While riding a horse you are too busy observing your horse’s body language and communicating to the horse through your own body language. Therefore, you do not have time or space in your mind to process other thoughts. That state of thoughtlessness is what most people try to achieve through meditation. In addition, there is physical exertion. Every riding session feels like a spa session, except that it’s sweaty.

Now, my favorite language is ‘Horse’. It’s very interesting and you don’t have to worry about correct usage of grammar. For example, the position of a horse’s ears indicates his mood.

  • Pricked ears: he’s curious;
  • Pinned back ears: he’s angry;
  • Ears back but not pinned: he’s listening to you;
  • Ears forward: listening to something else.

They also talk with the other parts of their body… Swishing tail: sign of agitation or warning the other horses to keep their distance. Flattened tail: fear.
They communicate through sounds too…

  • Sigh followed by a shudder: relaxed or bored
  • Nickering: seeking attention or they recognize you
  • Groaning: pain or just a plain habit
  • Snorting: excitement. It is as simple as that.

Most of us consider horses as dangerous animals and horse riding as a dangerous sport. You’ll be surprised to know that horses are flight animals and not fight animals. This means, they choose to flee at the first opportunity than to fight. However, like any other sport, accidents happen while riding a horse too.

horse’s-ears

Horses are more like children: innocent, mischievous, and sometimes temperamental and want to be free to do what they want to do. Of course, they are powerful and elegant at the same time. Just by watching their beautiful gait, shiny, swaying mane and tail, your heart will be filled with joy. All you have to do is to look into their large brown glassy eyes and you will be transformed to their world. Besides, horses have the largest eyes among the land mammals and there is absolutely no way you can ignore them. Horses can sleep both standing as well as lying down. They sleep better when they are in a group as some horses stand guard, while the others are sleeping. Horses are herd bound and when isolated they would rather to live with a human than in solitude.

In the world of horses, it’s always about horses. I find it very fascinating when someone says, “Did you ride Starlite before? She’s jumping today;” “Zamindar was fabulous in today’s shows;” “Kalina as always did a great job.” I would be forced to ask who was riding these horses; otherwise there is absolutely no mention of the person in the discussion. It is absolutely thrilling to know that it is not human but another animal that is being treated as a superior creature and without the animal demanding it.

Horses and humans have been working together since time immemorial. Horses have been used in wars, as porters by gypsies, in agriculture to till fields, for entertainment in shows and races, for meat consumption, and in the medical field to make anti-venom. Evidently, horses are viewed as status symbols.

horses-and-humans

One day in Bangalore, I was riding a horse named Donald – an old one with a “been there done that” attitude. When I was trying to hug him, I saw some white flakes on his crest, closer to the mane. Worried, I asked my instructor, if Donald had some problem. My instructor casually shrugged and said he has hair so he will have dandruff too, just like us. Horses have graying hair, thinning hair, dandruff and other hair-related problems!

Horses are not much different from us humans. Some horses are fearful and some are bold. Some have strong work ethics and some are utterly lazy. Some are competitive in nature and some couldn’t care less about winning. Some are truly amiable and some are outright hostile. So understanding a horse’s nature is much like understanding a human being’s nature.

Horses can be great teachers of tolerance, obedience, hard work, and friendship among other things. Horse riding to me has been very therapeutic and my life would have been incomplete without these magnificent, mystical, life-altering creatures. Surprisingly, I found that therapeutic riding or “Hippotherapy” is used to treat mentally and physically disabled persons to help them improve balance and coordination, increase self-confidence, and get a greater feeling of freedom!

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two-hourses
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pampering-hourse
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hourse-tile-style
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hourse-head-gears
hourse-eye-close-up
hourse-eye-close-up
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hourse-eye
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horse-love
horse-love
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horse-language

Factfile –
http://en.wikipedia.org
http://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.wikihow.com
http://www.equineline.com

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Mamta Naidu
I’m a Hyderabadi living in Bangalore. An IT professional and when I’m not doing IT stuff you’ll find me spending most of my time around horses and snakes with a camera dangling around my neck. A wildlife enthusiast, kicked about anything that has to do with conservation, wildlife or otherwise. I also love to trek and travel the world. Mighty and addictive Himalayas is my favorite place in the world. I capture my experiences and express my feelings through photography and writing.
  • Priyanka Rele

    What do I compliment u on?? The write up or the pics?? Great job girl!! Loved ur article.. 🙂

    • Mamta Naidu

      I owe it you! Thank you! 🙂

  • Tej

    Hi Mamta, superb pics and a great story.

    • Mamta Naidu

      Thank you Teja!

  • Ayshin

    Great article.. your pictures are lovely.. I wish you had written a little about first timers anxiety.. Next article maybe… 🙂 🙂

    • Mamta Naidu

      As a first timer you will not be able to sit or walk for a few days 😉 other than that you will be riding with a groom ( a person leading and controlling the horse) so it’s easy peasy! 🙂

  • Harsha

    Thats a great article… nice pictures…

    • Mamta Naidu

      Thank you Harsha!

  • Madhukesh

    I love horse riding and your article makes me get out there again.. Nice research.. This stuff helps..

    • Mamta Naidu

      Get out there again and let me know…;) thank you for your kind words! 🙂

  • Anjali

    So beautifully narrated. I can relate to so many things you have mentioned here. Love the article!

    • Mamta Naidu

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Anup srivastava

    Awesome

    • Mamta Naidu

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Shree

    Great article!! 🙂
    loved it! Cheers!

    • Mamta Naidu

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Great article…awesome pics.
    You have a great blog. I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award. Collect your award here. http://theconchblower.blogspot.in/2013/11/versatile-blogger-award.html

    • Mamta Naidu

      Awesome! thank you! 🙂

  • What’s up, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am too
    cheerful to share my knowledge here with colleagues.

    • I’m so glad you found this useful! 🙂

    • I’m glad you found this useful! Thank you! 🙂

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